Workers should be given time off to enjoy the festivities in full

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With exactly two months to go until the Diamond Jubilee weekend the TUC is today calling on employers to ensure that workers do not miss out on the unique four-day celebrations.

While most sensible employers will be giving staff an extra day’s paid leave to allow them to enjoy the festivities in full, the TUC is concerned that some penny-pinching bosses will treat Tuesday 5 June as a normal working day and expect their staff to come in.

A significant number of employers forced staff to work or take annual leave on the Royal Wedding bank holiday last April, causing needless ill-will amongst staff. The TUC is urging them not to make the same mistake again.

Last year, the TUC wrote to the government asking ministers to add a provision to the minimum statutory paid annual leave entitlement so that all workers can benefit from special bank holidays.

However because no provision was made, workers will have to rely on the goodwill of their employers for an extra day’s leave or for overtime for those that need to work.

The TUC is calling on all employers to do the right thing and give all employees paid leave on Monday 4 and Tuesday 5 June.

For people having to work over the Diamond Jubilee weekend, such as emergency services staff, the TUC believes that their employers should offer them an extra day’s leave as well as their contracted overtime pay.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “Everyone is looking forward to the Diamond Jubilee weekend. There will be parties and celebrations taking place up and down the country. It’s also half-term so many families will be planning to go away.

“The long weekend will give millions of workers a chance to recharge their batteries and spend much needed time with friends and family. The economic benefits of bank holidays may be hard to be measure, but they are priceless.

“Sadly hundreds of thousands of staff are likely to miss out on the festivities because some tight-fisted employers are refusing to recognise the Queen’s Jubilee and intend to treat the Tuesday as a normal working day.

“The annoyance and ill-will that will be caused by forcing staff to work while everyone else is out having a nice time will far outweigh any benefits from one extra day in the office. There is still time for employers to do the right thing and give staff a day’s paid on leave on Tuesday 5 June.

“The many shop workers and emergency services staff that have to work during the bank holiday weekend should not be forgotten either. Extra paid leave and contracted overtime pay is the very least they deserve.”


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